What’s so great about Farmers Markets?

At the Green Sprouts TableThere are many Farmers Markets throughout the country. Some may be in rural areas; others in suburbs or in cities. At Green Sprouts, we focused our energy on the Hollywood Farmers Market in the city of College Park. College Park has a diverse population, with vendors and customers from many different ethnic backgrounds and age groups.

The Hollywood Farmers Market is located in the back parking lot by REI. Its location is convenient for both customers and vendors alike.  Unlike other Farmers Markets in the area, vendors bring unique goods for the community. There were many booths that sold fresh produce; however, other vendors brought many things you may not see at a traditional farmers market. Tables with handmade arts and crafts were a common sight. Handmade jewelry, various types of pottery, henna art (a form of temporary tattoos), crocheted stuffed animals, and hand painted goose eggs were some of the many creative projects for sale. A group of vendors who were there regularly sold meat without growth hormones such as free range eggs and meat, poultry, beef/beef jerky. Another thing that makes the Hollywood Farmers Market unique is that there are food vendors with excellent food. Roy Caspari serves food from several different Asian countries. He and his wife typically serve spring rolls, noodles, and much more. Heavenly Created Desserts, another wife and husband business, served the finest and creative cupcakes and cookies. And you can always count on the Uptown Bakery for freshly baked pastries, made early in the morning to ensure maximum freshness.

An important staple of any Farmers Market is its fresh produce. Many local farmers were at the Farmers Market with an impressive display of fruits and vegetables, putting on a dazzling display of colors with alluring fragrances filled the air. There were everyday favorites, like apples, peaches, and many berries, or more exotic types, such as okra or romanesco. At the start of our project, farmers had peaches, watermelon and plums. In contrast, when the summer heat cooled to a brisk autumn air, there were pumpkin, more apples, eggplant and kale.

Farmers Markets are great for all communities. They are great for people because they provide fresh, locally grown vegetables, and can enjoy the outdoors while shopping for necessary groceries. People also meet others in their community, and strengthen bonds between neighbors. They are also great for farmers themselves because the transportation cost is low, which is great for the environment. In my opinion, Green Sprouts was a great turnout. We had a lot of fun educating everyone, young and old, about gardening. Kids enjoyed planting their own plants from seeds, and observing them grow. Older participants learned the importance of starting a garden, the benefits for the environment, and the reward one gets with it. Overall, we at Green Sprouts are very pleased with the results. We hope to see you next year!

Karl Shloder

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SunSplash Farms, Pete Charlerie

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Tuckey’s Mountain Grown Berries, Fruit, and Vegetables:

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Green Sprouts, Hamza Ansari and Talaat Shehata

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Hamza Ansari, Justin and Josiah Charlerie at HFM.JPG

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Roy Caspari:

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Freshly Grown Berries:

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More Sights:

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